Helloo Bloggees and Bloggette’s!
So, I was browsing on Twitter this morning when I came across this article via VOGUE about a Black British model called Leomie Anderson who tweeted blasting the fashion industry and more specifically the injustice of black models never having anyone competent enough to do their hair and makeup at fashion shows.
Basically, black women are not being catered for, and worse yet, they seem to be an afterthought in the industry since the makeup artists they hire (who needless to say are mostly white), are ill prepared and inexperienced to deal with any other model but white. The irony of this is that the very few black makeup artists and hair stylists who they employ can do both!
Leomie has been very vocal about this in her career so far and I think that she is refreshingly bold aswell as beautiful. In her tweets she accuses these makeup artists, who clearly have absolutely no idea how to select or blend for darker skin tones, of being unprofessional, and to be perfectly frank with you I agree wholeheartedly. They don’t even have the foundations required to do makeup on darker skin tones therefore they are ill equipped. They are ill equipped and unprepared and that IS unprofessional.
When I modelled a few years ago I didn’t DARE to rely on the makeup artists to get it right. They used to always make me look like a clown. They just did not have the expertise nor the knowledge required. I had to bring my own makeup as the makeup artists kit never had the right shades for my skin tone. This is a common complaint by black models and it is absolutely unacceptable. It’s bad enough that they have to deal with the prejudices that exist within the modelling industry but it’s just diabolical that these makeup artists being paid a shit load to make these models look beautiful can only seem to make the white ones look beautiful. If they cannot do the makeup for all models, no matter what their ethnicity or skin tone, then they shouldn’t be employed, end of. And while they’re at it, why don’t they employ more black makeup artists who are efficient at doing all types of skin tones?! Why should black models AND black makeup artists play second fiddle?
It is so infuriating! And Leonie is completely right to shout about it. We ALL need to shout about it because we’ve truly had enough.
When I used to work for the Vidal Sassoon Education Centre, which is where the hairdressers went to train how to do hair, despite touting themselves as being the best in the industry they were clearly INCAPABLE of handling afro hair so I had to get my hair done by my hairdresser in Brockley, South London, who was excellent.
I think Vidal Sassoon were ashamed and jealous of this because when I went into work one day with my newly done hairstyle (that wasn’t done by them!), I had a gang of their Korean students surround me. They were going absolutely crazy about my hair and were taking pictures of me, complimenting my hair obviously thinking that it had been done by Vidal Sassoon. But of course it hadn’t. Vidal Sassoon was incapable of the task. I had also been complimented in the street by a passerby on my way to work. At first I was berated by my manager about having my hair done by another hair salon (needless to say this clearly wouldn’t have been an issue if my hairstyle was just average and didn’t cause such a commotion) but then I was literally frogmarched into the hairdressers chair to get my hair dyed an extremely dull and lifeless brown (it had initially been a beautiful, bright, shiny bronzey-orange colour). They simply could not compete.
The fact is that I didn’t WANT to have to go elsewhere to get my hair done but they were simply not capable of doing afro hair. They didn’t know how to style it, how to look after it, or even how to dye it. This they clearly didn’t want to admit but they didn’t want a random hairdresser from South London overshadowing them that was for sure!
It’s high time the whole industry woke up, because outspoken models like Leomie, fed up with being treated with such nonchalance and inconsideration are just going to keep on speaking out. And I may not do modelling myself anymore but I’m 100% behind them.
Read the VOGUE article here: http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2016/02/18/leomie-anderson-make-up-artist-black-models-at-shows
Leomie also writes the blog The Cracked China Cup: http://www.crackedchinacup.com/